Foodservice Opinions

Opinion pieces on the foodservice equipment and supplies industry from leaders and laymen from all aspects of the business, including dealers, distributors, design consultants and multi-unit operators.

This Week in Foodservice: RPI Up Along with GDP, Labor Market Tightens and Much More

The Restaurant Performance Index chalked up a solid gain in July and operators continued to invest in equipment. GDP was up 3.7 percent in the second quarter. As the economy improves, operators find the labor market tightening. A study finds independent hamburger restaurants grew faster than the chains. These stories and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice.

Role of Technology in Today’s Food Safety Efforts

Technology has transformed food safety efforts significantly in recent years. Today, we not only rely on specialized equipment to plant and farm, but we have very specific pieces of equipment that provide food safety reassurance. For example, the online international journal Microsystems & Nanoengineering recently published an article spotlighting engineers at the University of California-Berkeley who have developed a "3D smart-cap". The engineers demonstrated that the device can wirelessly monitor the freshness of milk. What a tremendous impact this cap could have!

Chef's Corner: An Interview with Executive Chef Brandon Kida Hinoki & the Bird

Chef Brandon Kida has returned to his hometown to helm the kitchen at the acclaimed Hinoki & the Bird. The restaurant, inconspicuously tucked into Los Angeles' Century City business district, opened in December 2012 as an "imaginative dining concept" by the growing restaurant group Culinary Lab. Raised by his Japanese-American parents in the heart of Los Angeles' Koreatown, Kida is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He's cooked in the kitchens of L'Orangerie in Los Angeles and in New York City, at Lutèce, Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Smörgås Chef Restaurant Group's Blenheim Hill Farm and, most recently, Clement at The Peninsula Hotel.

Throwback Month

We’ve got beer, pizza, 
Hallmark and a story about a movement back to the days before large-scale frozen food distribution. We are one Ty Cobb story away from a Ken Burns documentary with this issue of FE&S. Interestingly enough, it’s all about what’s happening in foodservice today.

Shredding Our Way to a Greener Foodservice Operation

In today’s foodservice industry, everyone wants to be more environmentally friendly and the corporate dining team at Freddie Mac is no exception. 

What Foodservice Can Learn from the Cubs Winning Streak

As I write this, my beloved Chicago Cubs are enjoying an unprecedented renaissance under groovy manager Joe Maddon. As a lifelong Cubs fan, decades of shattered hopes remind me to enjoy the moment and not worry about what comes next. But what amazes me about this team is not so much that they are winning but how they are winning. And it strikes me that their success this summer contains a few lessons applicable to the foodservice industry.

Casual Restaurant Sales Crawl, Restaurants Play with Compensation Models and More

Casual restaurant sales in July slowed to a crawl. Restaurants experiment with different approaches to compensation, including price increases and no tipping plans, but finding the perfect system appears elusive. Activist Nelson Peltz of Trian lands two seats on Sysco’s board. Breakfast remains a terrific opportunity for foodservice. These stories and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice.

Insights to Growing a Brand

Consultant Juan Martinez explores the intricacies associated with balancing hospitality and unit economics when it comes to restaurant development and design.

Midscale Restaurants Rebound, Foodservice Hiring Strong, and More

Laggards for a long time, midscale restaurants have become one of the industry’s hottest segments. Despite encouraging top line job numbers a deeper look shows a few nagging weaknesses. Foodservice led the way in hiring last month. Sysco’s case sales indicate the broadline distributor may increase market share. More than a dozen chains report their comparable same-store sales. These stories and a whole lot more This Week in Foodservice. 

McDonald’s and Wendy’s International Woes, RPI Retreats but GDP Continues to Move Ahead and More

The NRA’s Restaurant Performance Index retreated in June. The latest GDP estimate shows the economy continues to move ahead slowly. Foodservice group purchasing organizations grow in importance. The restaurant count shrank last year as the number of full-service independent restaurants declined. There are over a dozen comp store sales reports from major chains. These articles and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice.

Needs Assessment

It’s August and that means most companies are about to begin formulating their plans for the coming fiscal year, if they have not done so already. Corporate planning exercises can quickly become introverted experiences, meaning it is easy to focus only on the company when trying to move forward.

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